I can’t wait until I grow up

An amazingly emotional piece of creative from Ogilvy Dublin to support the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

I challenge yot to not feel emotional and outraged, yet hopeful after watching this.

If you need it, here’s some commentary and context from AdWeek:

TALENT: The lead role was critical. To find someone who wouldn’t feel afraid, and who would know how to fall, the filmmakers advertised in karate and judo clubs. Soon, they found their star—a 7-year-old taekwondo enthusiast whose name is not being made public. “He has baby-like features and visually looks very vulnerable,” says director Richie Smyth. In fact, he was far from it, and actually enjoyed being thrown around the set. “I had to keep saying to him, ‘Now, when you land, I don’t want you laughing or smiling,’ ” says Smyth. The boy also proved a precocious actor, delivering his lines with remarkable pathos. “You’d have thought he’d been acting all his life,” says Ogilvy creative director Colin Nimick. The abuser is also an actor, not a stuntman. His face is never shown. “It’s not clear who he is—father, stepfather, mother’s boyfriend,” says Nimick. “It’s about what’s happening to the boy, not what the other person’s motives might be.”

COPYWRITING: The copy amounts to an emotional declaration of children’s rights, with a twist on the familiar narrative of what kids want to be when they grow up. “It’s almost like he’s speaking for who he’s going to become,” Nimick says. “He can look forward to the time when things will be different, and he will be on the side of making them different.” While some say the ad is bleak, Nimick believes the child’s defiance represents clarity and optimism amid the pain.

3 Responses to I can’t wait until I grow up

  1. […] I can’t wait until I grow up (edlee.ca) (DON’T LOOK AT THIS IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE… NOT FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS) GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "000000"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "0060ff"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "family"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "entertainment"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "education"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "life"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "child"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "children-youth-and-family"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "childrens-rights"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "family"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "home"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "parent"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_below_post"); This entry was posted in Life and tagged Child, Children Youth and Family, Children's rights, Family, Home, Parent. Bookmark the permalink. ← My Life part 13: babies and motorcycles LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. Owen Mullins says:

    The decision of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland upheld the complaint about this fundraising campaign video, see below for text of the decision. Perhaps this video should be removed from your website.

    CC: 20/09/2011 CASE REPORT Batch No: 203
    Case Ref.: 16247
    Product: Non-Commercial (Fundraising)
    Advertiser: Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
    Medium: Internet
    Advertisement: The advertisement depicted acts of abuse including physical abuse on a child,
    perpetrated by a male figure, in the home. While the abuser is seen striking, shaking
    and throwing the child to the ground, he (the child) quotes from a manifesto of
    children’s rights as follows:
    “I can’t wait til I grow up,
    and have the right to be happy,
    to be kept safe,
    to be kept warm,
    to feel loved,
    to be listened to,
    to be heard,
    to never ever ever cower or tremble or shake,
    Or have my innocence punched or kicked or screamed away,
    I’ll fight for the rights of children like me, who don’t have a childhood.
    I can’t wait until I grow up.”
    The announcer then stated “Join the fight for children’s rights.”
    Complaint: Complainants objected to the advertisement on the basis that it was unbalanced in its
    treatment of the subject of abuse in the home. The advertisement only depicted a male
    as being the aggressor and the complainants considered this to be unbalanced.
    Some complainants also objected to the level of violence acted out on the child in the
    The advertisers set out that they were an advocacy service for children in Ireland and
    that they provide a range of independent and unique services that they considered to be
    preventative and empowering in nature.
    They said that in 2010 Childline received over 800,000 calls and answered over
    500,000 of these. Children contacted them for many reasons and 13% of calls
    received in 2010 were in relation to child abuse and welfare. Where children disclose
    to Childline that they are at risk of or have in fact been abused and have given
    identifying information, their case would be referred to the HSE or the Garda
    The ISPCC also operates Childfocus, Teenfocus and Leanbh. Childfocus and
    Teenfocus work with children in the home or other secure settings and Leanbh works
    with children that are homeless and begging on the streets of Dublin. All these
    services adhere to Children’s First Guidelines and practice mandatory reporting.
    They said that the campaign “I can’t wait to grow up” was based around a manifesto
    of children’s rights. The manifesto was written from a child’s perspective and the
    2 Case Ref.: 16247
    purpose of the advertisement was to raise awareness of the very tough and sensitive
    issue of child abuse in Ireland.
    In relation to the issues raised by the complainants, they said that the video made no
    reference to fathers or male partners, and they did not consider the advertisement
    discriminated against any person or persons.
    They confirmed that the child depicted in the video was not harmed in the making of
    the advertisement and his guardian was present during the video shoot.
    The Secretariat asked the advertisers to detail in relation to the calls received by
    Childline what percentage of the calls were from children of a similar age to the child
    in the advertisement and of those children calling what percentage were abused by
    While the advertisers provided further information regarding the Childline service and
    a profile breakdown of phone and online statistics from 2010, they were unable to
    provide the information required as this was not collected by them.
    The Secretariat checked independently and found that comprehensive independent
    statistics were not available for the type of child abuse illustrated.
    Code Sections: 1.6(c) The Code is applied in accordance with the following criteria: Compliance
    with the Code is assessed in the light of a marketing communication’s probable effect
    when taken as a whole and in context. Particular attention is paid to: • the
    characteristics of the likely audience, • the media by means of which the marketing
    communication is communicated, • the location and context of the marketing
    communication, • the nature of the advertised product and the nature, content and form
    of any associated material made available or action recommended to consumers.
    2.16 Marketing communications should respect the dignity of all persons and should
    avoid causing offence on grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual
    orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the traveller community.
    2.17 Marketing communications should respect the principle of the equality of men
    and women. They should avoid sex stereotyping and any exploitation or demeaning of
    men and women. Where appropriate, marketing communications should use generic
    terms that include both the masculine and feminine gender; for example, the term
    ‘business executive’ covers both men and women.
    2.24 A marketing communication should not mislead, or be likely to mislead, by
    inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise.
    Conclusion: Complaints Upheld.
    The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the
    advertisers’ response. The Committee noted the sensitive and confidential nature of
    recording individual information from callers to the Childline service.
    They accepted that the level of violence portrayed while disturbing was realistic and
    3 Case Ref.: 16247
    that the primary message being conveyed in the advertising was the existence of this
    abuse. They also acknowledged the range of services provided by ISPCC.
    They noted that an earlier campaign for the Christmas appeal had also used a male
    figure and considered in the absence of reliable statistics, the portrayal of only male
    characters as the abusers was in breach of the provisions of the Code. The Committee
    upheld the complaints on the basis that without supporting evidence, the advertisement
    contravened Sections 2.16 and 2.17 of the Code.
    The advertisement must not appear in its current format again.

    • Ed Lee says:

      good thing i’m not an irish media company. the complaint and the ruling don’t make this any less of an emotive piece of story telling. it’s staying up on my blog.

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